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Epiphone 1963 Firebird V
Chapman ML1 Hybrid
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Playability
75
Sound
72
Build
67
Value
66
Score
71
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Playability
70
Sound
71
Build
61
Value
72
Score
67
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Side to side spec comparison >

Epiphone 1963 Firebird V vs Chapman ML1 Hybrid

Reasons to Get
Epiphone 1963 Firebird V over Chapman ML1 Hybrid

Release Year
2024 vs 2021
From a more recent year
Type of Frets
Medium Jumbo vs Jumbo
You'll feel the fretboard when pressing down the strings
Pickups Brand
Gibson vs None
Pickups from a renown brand
Neck Joint
Neck-Through vs Bolt-On
Stronger neck and easier access to upper frets
Volume Knobs
2 vs 1
More volume control
Tone Knobs
2 vs 1
More tone control
Pickups
HH vs HSS
High output without hum
Nut Width
1.693'' (43mm) vs 1.654'' (42mm)
Less likely to mute strings by accident and more space for fingerstyle
Scale Length
24.75'' (628.7mm) vs 25.5'' (647.7mm)
Easier bending, shorter fret separation and warmer natural tone
Fretboard Radius
12'' (304.8mm) vs 9.5'' (241.3mm)
Flatter fretboard makes it easier to play single notes and bend

Reasons to Get
Chapman ML1 Hybrid over Epiphone 1963 Firebird V

Country of Manufacturing
Indonesia vs China
Built with higher quality standards
Decorative Top
Quilted Maple Veneer On Flat Top with Gloss Finish vs None
Finished with beautiful natural wood patterns
Frets Height
Taller vs Shorter
Easier to press down strings and bend them
Type of Frets
Jumbo vs Medium Jumbo
You won't feel the fretboard when pressing down the strings
Pickup Mods
Coil Split vs None
Splits humbuckers into single coil pickups
Switch Positions
5 vs 3
More tone options
Pickups
HSS vs HH
High output with beautiful cleans and tone versatility
Nut Width
1.654'' (42mm) vs 1.693'' (43mm)
Favors small hands, easier bar chords and other shapes
Scale Length
25.5'' (647.7mm) vs 24.75'' (628.7mm)
Lower action and brighter natural tone
Fretboard Radius
9.5'' (241.3mm) vs 12'' (304.8mm)
Easier to play chords without muting strings
Value Score
72 vs 66
Better price/quality relationship

Other Key Differences
Epiphone 1963 Firebird V vs Chapman ML1 Hybrid

Bridge Pickup
Gibson USA Firebird Mini Humbucker with Alnico 5 Magnet vs Chapman Sonorous Zerø Humbucker
Different Bridge Pickup
Neck Pickup
Gibson USA Firebird Mini Humbucker with Alnico 5 Magnet vs Chapman Venus Witch Zerø Single Coil
Different Neck Pickup
Body Wood
Other vs Mahogany
Different Body Wood
Neck Wood
Mahogany vs Roasted Maple
Different Neck Wood
Fretboard Wood
Laurel vs Roasted Maple
Different Fretboard Wood
Headstock
6 vs R6
Different Headstock

Shared Features
Epiphone 1963 Firebird V vs Chapman ML1 Hybrid

Nut Material
Ivory Tusq
Same Nut Material
Strings
6
Same playing style
Body Type
Solid Body
Feedback free
Number of Frets
22
Same maximum octave
Paint Finish
Poly
Resistant paint that ages well
Bridge
Tremolo
Simple vibratos without too much maintenance
Pickups Power
Passive
Cleaner sound and no battery needed
Neck Profile Type
C
Comfortable neck that works for most people

Common Strengths

  • High-Quality Nut
  • Expensive Wood

Common Weaknesses

  • Weight Relief
  • Locking Tuners
  • Stays in Tune (Evertune)
  • High-Quality Frets
  • Compound Radius Fretboard
  • Luminescent Sidedots
  • Strap Lock
  • 21:1 Tuner Ratio
  • Active/Passive Preamp

Price History Comparison

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SET PRICE ALERT

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Which One is Better for Beginners?

The Chapman ML1 Hybrid meets 6 out of our 8 criteria items for beginner friendliness, while the Epiphone 1963 Firebird V meets only 4. This takes into account the type of frets, scale length, nut width, bridge type, fretboard radius, and neck profile to determine the easiest combination for new players.

New Player Friendliness

Epiphone 1963 Firebird V
  • Comfortable shape
  • Easy-to-use bridge
  • Tall frets
  • Comfortable neck
  • Comfortable fretboard
  • Narrow nut
  • Short scale
  • Locking tuners

New Player Friendliness

Chapman ML1 Hybrid
  • Comfortable shape
  • Easy-to-use bridge
  • Comfortable fretboard
  • Tall frets
  • Narrow nut
  • Comfortable neck
  • Short scale
  • Locking tuners

Nevertheless, when it comes to choosing an instrument, you should pick the one more compatible with your personal style. Still, below we'll try you to give you our results as objectively as it's possible to help you decide.

Sound Quality Comparison

The wood used in an electric guitar or bass is not as important to determine the final tone. However, some people prefer specific wood types, so we'll take a look at those first. Then, we'll take a look at the electronics to determine the versatility and sound quality of each instrument.

Woods Used in Both

Mahogany wood pattern used for guitar building
Mahogany

Mahogany is a fairly rare wood nowadays. It's used mostly for bodies due to its relatively lightweight. Gibson popularized it with their Les Paul guitars during their golden years, so this wood has a lot of good reputation behind it. The most expensive type comes from South America and it's still used by Gibson even today. Find out more about Mahogany.

Woods Used in the Epiphone 1963 Firebird V

Laurel wood pattern used for guitar building
Laurel

There are many types of Laurel, but East Indian is the most common for guitar building. Its color can vary from dark to light brown with black lines. Many people find its tonality similar to Rosewood, which favors the warmer frequencies. Find out more about Laurel.

Woods Used in the Chapman ML1 Hybrid

Roasted Maple wood pattern used for guitar building
Roasted Maple

Roasted Maple is just maple without a finish. It's technically cheaper than regular maple, but it doesn't have any extra disadvantages because of this. The color is darker, and it's lighter weight and very stable even when there's a lot of humidity.

Winner: Tie.

Pickup Configuration

The Epiphone 1963 Firebird V has an HH configuration while the Chapman ML1 Hybrid has HSS pickups.

Double Humbucker (HH) is the choice for people who want a fuller, more round sound with tons of mids and lows. Humbuckers also get rid of the hum noise that plague single-coil pickups. They can work out for almost any genre going from Djent to even Jazz.

On the other hand, HSS provides a great balance if you like to play with a lot of distortion, but also love to use clean tones. You'll get a lot of output at the bridge position, but you'll be able to play bright clean tones at the other positions.

Pickups Quality

The Epiphone 1963 Firebird V has pickups from a more specialized brand than the Chapman ML1 Hybrid. Its pickups should simply give you a better, fuller sound, although it all depends on what type of music you're going to play. We recommend these pickups for Hard Rock and similar genres.

Both use Passive pickups. This is what's used for most music genres. They have a regular output and will serve you for both high-gain and clean tones. The alternative (Active pickups) offer a higher output that is mostly used for heavy music.

Winner: Epiphone 1963 Firebird V.

Versatility Comparison

Some instruments offer you more ways to explore your creativity than others. Below you'll find how both compare when it comes to versatility.

Switch Options

The Chapman ML1 Hybrid gives you 5 switch options while the Epiphone 1963 Firebird V gives you 3. This means that the Chapman ML1 Hybrid gives you more options to find the right pickup combination for the type of sound you want to achieve

Only the Chapman ML1 Hybrid comes with some kind of pickup modification: Coil Split.

Coil Split lets you disconnect one of the pickup coils. When used with humbuckers, it turns them into single-coil with lower output and cleaner tone.

Epiphone 1963 Firebird V pickups switch and push knobs diagram
Epiphone 1963 Firebird V's switch options
Chapman ML1 Hybrid pickups switch selector and push knobs diagram
Chapman ML1 Hybrid's switch options

When evaluating versatility, we also take into consideration bridge and neck joint type, number of frets, switch options, amount of pickups and more.

Winner: Chapman ML1 Hybrid.

Final Sound Quality Scores

Epiphone 1963 Firebird V
Pickups 90
Sustain 70
Versatility 63
Tuning Stability 65
Sound 72
Chapman ML1 Hybrid
Pickups 60
Sustain 80
Versatility 80
Tuning Stability 65
Sound 71

Build Quality Comparison

When it comes to build quality, we like to take into account everything used to build the instrument. This includes materials, hardware and the quality control expected depending on the country where it was built. Let's see how the Epiphone 1963 Firebird V compares to the Chapman ML1 Hybrid.

Country of Origin

The manufacturing country can tell a lot about the build quality of an instrument. The Epiphone 1963 Firebird V is built in China while the Chapman ML1 Hybrid is made in Indonesia.

China has a bad reputation when it comes to building quality. However, times have changed and now respectable brands use China's cheap labor to build good instruments for a lower price. Don't discount a guitar only because it was built in China, but also expect more quality from countries like Korea.

Indonesia is becoming the most popular country for guitar building because they can make good instruments for a low price. Some people think that they're 'the new China' when it comes to build quality. But the truth is that Indonesian guitars are more consistent, although Chinese quality has improved a lot in the last few years.

Winner: Chapman ML1 Hybrid

Nut Material

If you want your guitar to stay in tune and sound good, you need a well cut nut. Nut quality can be inconsistent even when comparing two copies of the same model. The best way to make sure you're nut will be well done is by getting a nut made by an expert company like TUSQ or Micarta.

In this case, both have Ivory Tusq nuts. Ivory used to be considered the best material for guitar nuts due to its beauty, durability, and the rich harmonics and sustain you could get from a guitar with it. However, the way to obtain it is simply unethical. Enter TUSQ ivory nuts, which are made synthetically to imitate ivory. Technically, it's better than ivory because it is consistent piece-to-piece, while natural materials can vary a lot, even if they're made from the same.

Fret Material

Most fret wire is made of nickel silver. This material eventually wears down after a lot of use and most instruments end up needing a complete fret replacement. However, some expensive models come with stainless steel frets. This is what you should aim for if you can afford it.

Unfortunately, none of them come with stainless steel frets.

Winner: Tie.

Bridge

The perfect bridge for you will depend on your playstyle because they all have advantages and disadvantages. However, some bridges are more expensive—like Floyd Roses and Evertunes—and thus add more value to a guitar.

Both come with a similar bridge: Tremolo. Tremolo bridges give you more versatility than fixed bridges. They let you perform the intense vibrato effects that would be impossible with a fixed bridge. However, since the bridge floats and there's less contact with the body, the strings lose sustain slightly faster. They can also be a bit harder to restring and set up correctly than fixed bridges.

Since we need to be objective, the most expensive type of bridge will be the winner of this section. In the end, this doesn't matter if you're not going to use the bridge for its original purpose, so choose the bridge that fits your playing style better.

Winner: Tie.

Tuners

Both come with regular tuners. The Epiphone 1963 Firebird V's are Kluson "Banjo-style" Planetary while the Chapman ML1 Hybrid's are Chapman Classic Closed (18:1 Gearing)

Winner: Tie.

Neck Joint

Contrary to popular belief, the difference in sustain and tone that some neck joints give to a guitar is simply unperceivable—if they're all well built. However, some of them do have advantages over the others.

The Epiphone 1963 Firebird V has a Neck-Through neck joint. This neck is a lot more resistant and lets builders give the neck joint a more comfortable shape for soloing at the upper frets. The disadvantage is that they're more expensive and that if you damage your neck, you can't simply replace it like with bolt-on necks.

On the other hand, the Chapman ML1 Hybrid comes with Bolt-On neck joint. This neck is joined to the body by 4 bolts that you can simply unscrew. This allows you to replace the neck or take it off for travel. It's the most common and cheapest way to build a guitar.

Winner: Epiphone 1963 Firebird V.

Here is the list of features that were considered when choosing the winner in the Features subcategory:

Strengths & Weaknesses
Epiphone 1963 Firebird V
  • Expensive Wood
  • Ivory Tusq Nut
  • Top Brand Pickups
  • Neck-Through Build
  • Tremolo
  • Cheap Fret Wire (NS)
  • No Locking Tuners
  • Made in China
  • No Push Knob or Extra Switch Option
  • No Weight Relief
  • No Luminescent Inlay
  • No Compound Radius Fretboard
  • No 21:1 Tuner Ratio
  • No Strap Lock
Strengths & Weaknesses
Chapman ML1 Hybrid
  • Expensive Wood
  • Ivory Tusq Nut
  • Coil Split Pickups
  • Tremolo
  • Cheap Fret Wire (NS)
  • No Locking Tuners
  • Made in Indonesia
  • No Top Brand Pickups
  • No Neck-Through Build
  • No Weight Relief
  • No Luminescent Inlay
  • No Compound Radius Fretboard
  • No 21:1 Tuner Ratio
  • No Strap Lock

Final Build Quality Scores

Epiphone 1963 Firebird V
Quality of materials 66
Features 65
Quality Control 70
Build Quality 67
Chapman ML1 Hybrid
Quality of materials 53
Features 60
Quality Control 70
Build Quality 61

Playability Comparison

Let's now compare their playability. Bear in mind that the instrument will feel different depending on your hand size and play style. That's why you should always test before buying. But if you can't or want a second opinion on it, we can still take a look at each of the important measurements of the instrument for you. This way, we can predict how easy a guitar might be to play, or how different it will feel compared to the other.

Remember that, even though the difference might seem small, every inch counts when it comes to feeling of the instrument in your hands. Any variation can completely change how comfortable a guitar feels in your hands.

Nut Width

Epiphone 1963 Firebird V Nut Width
Epiphone 1963 Firebird V Nut Width
Chapman ML1 Hybrid Nut Width
Chapman ML1 Hybrid Nut Width

The nut width will affect the separation between strings at the nut. In this comparison, the Epiphone 1963 Firebird V has the wider nut with 43mm (1.693'') vs 42mm (1.654''). This is a 1mm (0.039'') difference

This means that it will be more difficult to do bar chords on the Epiphone 1963 Firebird V, especially closer to the nut. However, it's also easier to play without muting strings accidently. This favors people with big hands.

Scale Length

Epiphone 1963 Firebird V's Scale Length
Epiphone 1963 Firebird V's Scale Length
Chapman ML1 Hybrid's Scale Length
Chapman ML1 Hybrid's Scale Length

The scale length is one of the things that influences playability the most. This is the distance between the nut and the bridge and will affect everything from low action allowance, difficulty to perform bends, fret separation, and even tone.

The Chapman ML1 Hybrid has the longest scale: 25.5". The Epiphone 1963 Firebird V is only 24.75" long. This is a 0.75'' (19.1mm) scale length difference.

This longer scale means that the strings need more tension to get in tune. This is good if you want to avoid fret buzz, which can happen when the strings are too loose and touch the frets while vibrating. This is especially important when playing in lower tunings. This will also let you reduce the gap between fretboard and strings (low action) to make them easier to press down. However, this higher tension will also make it harder to perform bends and vibratos as the strings will feel stiffer.

This also means that the frets have a longer separation between each other, so this will make it harder for people with smaller hands when playing some chord positions.

Another characteristic of a longer scale is that it makes the guitar sound 'snappier' or brighter. This is due to the extra separation between harmonics and overtones produced by the tension. This influences tone more than any other factor (except the pickups).

Lastly, remember that you can also affect the tension of the strings by changing your string gauge. You can use a thicker gauge for more tension and a lighter one for less tension.

Neck Profile

Epiphone 1963 Firebird V Neck Profile
Epiphone 1963 Firebird V's neck profile
Chapman ML1 Hybrid Neck Profile
Chapman ML1 Hybrid's neck profile

No single neck shape is better than others. However, most people tend to prefer a thinner necks because it doesn't get in their way when playing fast and most hand sizes can adapt to it pretty well. However, some people still prefer thicker necks for a better grip, especially if they have big hands.

Both the Epiphone 1963 Firebird V and the Chapman ML1 Hybrid have a C-shaped neck. This is what you'll find in most modern guitars. Most people feel like the thickness of a C neck is simply the less intrusive one for playing fast, while at the same time allowing you to grab the neck easily for resting if you want to.

Fretboard Radius

Epiphone 1963 Firebird V Fingerboard Radius
Epiphone 1963 Firebird V's Fingerboard radius
Chapman ML1 Hybrid Fingerboard Radius
Chapman ML1 Hybrid's Fingerboard radius

Most guitar fretboards are not flat; they usually have a curve or arc across their width. A curved fretboard will make it easier to perform chords without muting strings, while a flatter one will make it easier to play single notes, which is good for bending and soloing in general. The best fretboards have a compound radius that varies across the fingerboard, but they're not common since they take a lot more work to build.

In this case, the Chapman ML1 Hybrid's fingerboard radius is smaller, which means it's more curved than the Epiphone 1963 Firebird V's. This extra arc will make playing chords easier in this model. You won't be as likely to mute the strings, especially if you have big hands. However, playing single notes and bending will be easier on the Epiphone 1963 Firebird V.

Hand Size Comfortability

Everyone has a different hand size, and that's why it's recommended to try a guitar before buying, even if others tell you that it's comfortable to play. However, we can know whether a guitar favors small or large hands just by knowing its exact measurements.

And after taking into account the scale length, nut width, neck profile and fretboard radius, we can conclude that the Chapman ML1 Hybrid favors large hands more than the Epiphone 1963 Firebird V.

Epiphone 1963 Firebird V:
Big Hands
Small Hands
Chapman ML1 Hybrid:
Big Hands
Small Hands

Fret Size

Epiphone 1963 Firebird V Frets Size
Epiphone 1963 Firebird V's Frets Size
Chapman ML1 Hybrid Frets Size
Chapman ML1 Hybrid's Frets Size

The Chapman ML1 Hybrid has Jumbo frets, which should be taller than the Epiphone 1963 Firebird V's Medium Jumbo frets.

Some people prefer taller frets because they result in more sustain since the strings get pressed cleanly without interference from the fretboard. However, if they're too tall—like Jumbo frets—, you might change the pitch of the strings accidentally if you press too hard because you won't be touching the fretboard with your fingers. This is also why some guitarists with a heavy grip prefer smaller frets. They like to feel the fingerboard to avoid pressing down too hard and getting out of pitch.

Final Playability Scores

Epiphone 1963 Firebird V
Bending & Vibrato Ease 80
Chord Playability 65
Solo Playability 80
Playability 75
Chapman ML1 Hybrid
Bending & Vibrato Ease 70
Chord Playability 70
Solo Playability 70
Playability 70

Specs Side-by-Side

Epiphone 1963 Firebird V vs Chapman ML1 Hybrid
General Epiphone 1963 Firebird V Chapman ML1 Hybrid
Brand: Epiphone Chapman
Year: 2024 2021
Configuration: HH HSS
Strings: 6 6
Made in: China Indonesia
Series: 1963 Firebird V Standard
Colors: Blue, Red Black, Blue, Red
Left-Handed Version: No No
Body
Type: Solid Body Solid Body
Body Material: 9-ply Mahogany/Walnut Neck-Through Mahogany
Bridge: Maestro Vibrola Chapman 2-Point Tremolo with Steel Block
Neck
Neck Joint: Neck-Through Bolt-On
Tuners: Kluson "Banjo-style" Planetary Chapman Classic Closed (18:1 Gearing)
Fretboard: Indian Laurel Roasted Maple – Medium Colour
Neck Material: Mahogany Roasted Maple – Medium Colour
Decoration: Mother of Pearl Trapezoid Black Side Dots and Black Front Dot Inlays with Black Infinity
Scale Size: 24.75" 25.5"
Shape: 1963 Firebird C Shape
Frets: 22 Medium Jumbo Nickel Silver 22 Jumbo Nickel Silver
Fretboard Radius: 12" 9.5"
Nut: Ivory Tusq Ivory Tusq
Nut Width: 43mm (1.693'') 42mm (1.654'')
Electronics
Bridge Pickup: Gibson USA Firebird Mini Humbucker with Alnico 5 Magnet (Humbucker / Passive) Chapman Sonorous Zerø Humbucker (Humbucker / Passive)
Middle Pickup: Chapman Venus Witch Zerø Single Coil (Single Coil / Passive)
Neck Pickup: Gibson USA Firebird Mini Humbucker with Alnico 5 Magnet (Humbucker / Passive) Chapman Venus Witch Zerø Single Coil (Single Coil / Passive)
Switch: 3 Way 5 Way
Knobs: Bell Dome
Pickup Mods: None Coil Split
Volume Controls: 2 1
Tone Controls: 2 1